Thousands of people are in Macon this week for the 142nd annual General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia.

The convention began Monday and will run through Thursday night. It’s open to the public at no cost said Pastor Anthony Corbett, who leads Lundy Chapel Baptist Church in Macon, the host church this year.

The convention is being held at the Wilson Convention Center on Coliseum Drive.

The convention includes leadership sessions and worship services for clergy, teachers and laypeople. Several courses will be held during the day on topics including the spiritual life of the minister, God’s pattern of leadership, teaching strategies for spiritual formation of children and youths, and spiritual dress for women of success.

Worship services will be held at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The convention is held annually at different Georgia cities. It hasn’t been held in Macon since 2005.

“About 2,000 is pretty normal,” Corbett said, and the convention could draw closer to 3,000.

There are more attendees this year because the organization is electing its state president “and because Macon is centrally located, ... and it’s able to accommodate the delegates,” he said.

“The convention tries to go the largest cities (in Georgia) and it rotates,” Corbett said. “Normally it comes to Macon every four to five years.”

As with most conventions, those who attend contribute to the local economy by staying in hotels and going to restaurants. About 95 percent of the people coming to this week’s event are staying in hotels “more than likely” for the full four days, Corbett said.

The General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia is the largest organization of black residents in the state of Georgia, according to a news release. Its membership is made up of more than 861 churches, representing more than 550,000 African-American Baptists in Georgia.

It is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention USA Inc. For 126 years it has provided educational and enrichment programs for thousands of Georgia Baptists.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223. 

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